Allen B. West

Strategic imperative for Iraq Obama is missing: destroy the enemy

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The last time a Democrat president sent advisors to a country embroiled in a civil war, well, my older brother went there. It was Vietnam. There was mission creep slowly but surely, and mismanagement from the White House and an agenda-driven combative media led to defeat — regardless of the fact that our men in the jungles never lost a tactical engagement. We lost strategically. And of course a Republican president came in and cleaned up a horrible mess.

Say what you wish, but Iraq had been stabilized, but somehow campaign promises outweighed strategic vision. And please, don’t give me the liberal progressive revisionist history as stated by Vice President Joe Biden who referred to Iraq as one of the “great achievements of the Obama administration.” Well it ain’t so.

President Obama took the podium yesterday to announce his plan to stem the advance of an Islamist army, ISIS, as reported by CNN, “Seeking a middle ground between calls for tough military action and none at all, President Barack Obama said Thursday he was sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the embattled government hold off a lightning advance from the north by Sunni militants. Obama told White House reporters the goal was to prevent a civil war in Iraq that could destabilize the region, and also prevent creation of a terrorist safe haven in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria from which U.S. enemies could plan and launch attacks against American interests.”

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Truthfully, I’m not concerned with the Iraqi government. Al-Maliki is a tool of Iran. Our only focus should be on the destruction of ISIS: enemy-oriented.

And so the confusion and mission creep begins. We are now sending boots on the ground. We were told last week that the problem was for the Iraqis to solve but now we’re told we’re going to help the “embattled government.”

Furthermore Obama stated, “We have had advisers in Iraq through our embassy and we are prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisers — up to 300 — to assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward. American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well.”

What? So these advisors are going back to do what we had been doing, in calmer times, which Obama decided not to continue to do but now do under combat situations — but not return to combat. So what are the rules of engagement Mr. President for these “advisors?” Go over there and teach lessons but don’t get shot at?

Ok, here are my strategic imperatives that I would have given today — realizing that there would not have been an ISIS advance in a West administration — but if forced into this reactive scenario:

1. Deny ISIS sanctuary, we will use our intelligence assets to identify ISIS base of operations, assembly and staging areas.
2. Interdict the ISIS flow of men, materiel, and resource support — cut it off and kill it piece by piece.
3. Conduct a strategic information operation to degrade ISIS ideologically and isolate it from indigenous support.
4. Cordon it off on terrain of our choosing for destruction.

My operational level guidance to CENTCOM Commander would be this:

1. Find this enemy
2. Fix this enemy in place and deny his maneuver and repositioning
3. Engage this enemy with all available weapons systems
4. Destroy this enemy wherever he presents himself
5. Pursue this enemy to it complete destruction

The only other point I would have made would be that America would seek to strengthen its alliance with the Kurds. We would not engage in any talks, coordination, negotiations, or diplomacy with Iran, and I would advise Iranian forces to retreat back across the border.

My rules of engagement would be clear and concise: kill ISIS and exploit any intelligence gathered.

These barbaric savages only understand strength, power, and might. They care not a whit for Obama’s drivel.

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